'It's the only thing I ever want to do' - Kiwi teen hoping to become motorsport's next big thing

With Kiwi driver Brendon Hartley's driving in Formula One this season, it might not be too long until the motorsport world is graced by another New Zealand born talent.

At the age of 15, Pukekohe native Liam Lawson is proving every bit a star turn as the likes of Hartley and Scott Dixon, this year taking out the New Zealand Formula Ford title, with an astonishing 14 from 15 races.

Lawson then headed to Australia, taking part in his first season in Formula 4, finishing second to cement his status as a rising star.

"I've had a lot of conversations about what I would do if I wasn't racing - and I have no idea what I'd do," Lawson told 1 NEWS.

"It's the only thing I ever want to do."

Lawson's successes have also caught the eye of New Zealand motorsport legend, Ken Smith - the mentor of Brendon Hartley - who likes what he sees in the youngster.

"It's either born in you, you can do it, or you can't," he said.

"You see a lot of kids that drive and they go good, but there's ones that are exceptional - and he's exceptional."

So with the likes of Hartley and Dixon helping put New Zealand motorsport on the map in recent times, hopefully it won't be too long before Liam Lawson can add his name to the list of Kiwis to shine on racing's biggest stages.


'It's all part of the apprenticeship' – Brendon Hartley's manager philosophical after Mexican F1 disaster

Kiwi Formula 1 driver Brendon Hartley will only grow from his disappointing result at the Mexican Grand Prix this morning, according to his manager Peter Johnston.

Hartley, 27, started this morning's race 17th on the grid, moving up to 11th before disaster struck on the 32nd lap, with his Toro Rosso car catching fire - forcing him to retire from the race.

Speaking to 1 NEWS, Johnston said that the setback can only be a good thing for Hartley's development as a driver, as the Kiwi seeks a full time role with Toro Rosso in 2018.

"Overall, I think he did a fantastic job," he said.

"Okay, he retired today with another engine problem, but it's all about mileage, and learning about being a Formula 1 driver."

"It's all part of the apprenticeship."

Johnston was also adamant that Hartley would have pushed for honours in today's race, were it not for his car troubles.

"He showed that he's got quicker and quicker."

"I think, all things being equal and if his motor would've lasted, he would have been in the points."

"Between eighth and tenth he could have easily achieved."

The Kiwi driver again impressed before engine troubles saw him out of the race. Source: 1 NEWS



The moment Brendon Hartley's brilliant start to Mexican GP goes up in smoke as F1 car catches on fire mid-race

Kiwi Formula 1 driver Brendon Hartley has had his strong start to the Mexico Grand Prix taken away from him after his car caught fire midway through this morning's race.

Hartley qualified for the race in 13th but took to the starting grid in 17th due to penalties his team received for his engine.

But despite the pre-race setback, Hartley surged up the leaderboard to sit 11th going into the 32nd lap - then disaster struck.

"I'm losing a lot of power," Hartley told his pit crew.

"Stop the car Brendon. Stop the car in a safe place," they replied.

Hartley's car was already showing signs of smoke as he moved it to the side of the track.

The car began showing flames as he exited the cockpit before a roadside marshal stepped in with an extinguisher to put out the fire.

British racer Lewis Hamilton earned his fourth F1 Championship title in the race after finishing in 9th place.

Mark Webber spoke to 1 NEWS in Austin and talked up Hartley's credentials. Source: 1 NEWS

The Palmerston North native finished 13 at the US Grand Prix in Austin this morning. Source: 1 NEWS

There are still two races left in the season in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS